Consumer attitudes might look easier to decipher today thanks to powerful statistically based automatic translation tools which make possible, for instance, to read blogs in other languages. But most behavioral habits are culturally rooted. They rarely have a direct translation, as one must first understand the context to appreciate different points of view.
We are established in Paris, France and travel for work around the world. This kind of expertise can only be gathered over time. Reading plays an important role, but the ability to talk to people and observe them in situ is the most valuable way to begin understanding different contextual layers.
We have connections in most markets to carry out any project involving experienced local researchers. Large international studies are the most challenging and rewarding in this sense to untangle complexity and sort out the global findings and the most relevant cultural specifics.
"There is an ancient Chinese story, still known to most East Asians today, about an old farmer whose only horse ran away. Knowing that the horse was the mainstay of his livelihood, his neighbors came to commiserate with him. “Who knows what’s bad or good?” said the old man, refusing their sympathy. And indeed, a few days later his horse returned, bringing with it a wild horse. The old man’s friends came to congratulate him. Rejecting their congratulations, the old man said, “Who knows what’s bad or good?” And, as it happened, a few days later when the old man’s son was attempting to ride the wild horse, he was thrown from it and his leg was broken. The friends came to express their sadness about the son’s misfortune. “Who knows what’s bad or good?” said the old man. A few weeks passed, and the army came to the village to conscript all the able-bodied men to fight a war against the neighboring province, but the old man’s son was not fit to serve and was spared. The story, which goes on as long as the patience of the audience permits, expresses a fundamental of the Eastern stance toward life. The world is constantly changing and is full of contradictions."
Richard Nisbett “The Geography of Thought”